The Mintz conundrum


Andrew Mayeda reviews the state of play on environmental policy.

The Conservative figure of a 10-cent-per-litre increase is based on an estimate by University of Calgary economist Jack Mintz … The Conservatives often cite Mintz’s work to bolster their case for various policies, including corporate tax cuts. But like many economists, such as former U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker and Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, Mintz believes a carbon tax levied broadly across the economy would be a more efficient way of pricing carbon than putting caps on industrial emitters.


The Mintz conundrum

  1. Assuming AGW is even real (which anyone who's been paying attention to the real science in the last ten years knows it isn't),

    Canada emits a tiny fraction of GHG's. Brazil and China emit more in a few days than we do in a year,

    yet we are to hobble our economy with a tax on everything (only those who don't appreciate that fuel is a basic cost input at almost all levels of production and distribution of our goods and services, will deny this),

    for the luxury of moral preeening and nothing more. This point isn't even about the science. It's basic math. A tiny fraction of a fraction leads to the miniscule.

    Layton vows to "punish" GHG emitters. But the stark reality is, that means all of us, both directly and indirectly.

    But hey, Jack has a smile and walks with a neveaux partially disabled chic cool cane thing, so hey, who cares if his wacked out policies will cause ramant unemployment and untold economic suffering.

    Meanwhile the media essentially by- passes any semblance of scrutiny of Jack's nutty policies, their coverage consisting of:

    "Hey cool, Jack is surging!!!!"

    • Where will you be after Monday, kody?

    • And the long form census never gave accurate data.

    • 'Assuming AGW is even real (which anyone who's been paying attention to the real science in the last ten years knows it isn't),'

      That's why the Conservative Party has taken a principled approach, calling AGW for what it is: a liberal hoax.

      OH WAIT, no, that's no way to get a majority.

      The Conservative Party of Canada: A Party of Principles.

    • "Real science" defined here as "Science done by someone other than actual climate scientists".

      (Or possibly, "Science done by people who have been properly bribed by oil companies")

      • Or possibly, scientists with the same credentials in climate research as Harper has in economics.

    • Assuming AGW is real, our level of emissions isn't the factor, but rather our lack of readiness to compete in a world where CO2 emitting technologies are difficult to sell due to increasing restrictions and duties/taxes imposed by other nations.

      Placing a tax on these types of technologies *now* allows us to retain control of how much pain we suffer while making it profitable for private enterprise to begin developing the technologies that we will need to be masters of in the future. Not doing so leaves our fate in the hands of others.

      • What a bunch of hogwash within your reasoning. Might as well have cancer now because I might have it in the future. Where is taht bull meter when you need.it.

        • It's more like, "Might as well get off of the tracks now, because when the train comes, we won't have the opportunity to pick a nice place to land."

          While I don't expect a response because I know your difficulty with simple logic, which part of the logic of my statement do you disagree with?

          • Taxes on Transportation(the largest industry in Canada), Electricity ( a necessity) Agriculture (a nescessity) Efficiency ( an economic growth driver). Generally a "tax on everything".
            Costs A stalled economy, very high unemployment rates, depression (economic and human) Not to mention regional conflicts within Canada.
            And the benefit is minimal.

  2. Well, Dion told us this long time ago, but in spite of Canadians claiming to be very concerned about the environment, they voted against it.

    They wanted to 'clean things up' without spending a nickel or making any effort.

    However, there's no such thing as 'magic'.

    • Emily,
      2010 emissions are significantly below 2005 emissions.

      • Except 2005 isn't the base year.

        1990 is.

    • Dione also tried to say that if we didn't have a carbon tax as he proposed, then the rest of the world would make us pay in some way. In other words, he used fear and cowardice to try to get us to vote for him. It didn't work.

      Since when are Canadinas such chickens? The Gillard government in Australia is attempting the same thing right now, I predict the same reuslts when they have their next election. Good bye Gillard.

      • Why yes, it makes perfect sense to avoid dealing with a serious problem by taking offence over who says it.

        'rolls eyes'.

  3. The AGW hustlers told us a decade ago that our prairies would begin to look like over heated desert wastelands by now.

    We in the prairies are now under blanket of snow, in May (as happens in the prairies from time to time) the predictions like all the predictions from 15 years ago blown to pieces.

    White winters haven't dissappeared in NY and England, entire Islands and vast coastal areas have not gone under water etc, etc,

    Yet Jack wants to "punish us" to stave off fears generated by eco socialists intent to gain control over the economy as all leftists want to do.

    The media's turning a blind eye to the left has been evidence of corruption to be sure. The truly scandalous is their willful non reporting of the studies and evidence contra to AGW theory – the media's pet issue from the last decade, which not coincidentally is at the heart of today's leftist/statist movement.

    • My god an ice age is descending on us.

    • That's why the Conservative Party, a party that is true to its convictions and wears its policies on its sleeve, has come out and called AGW for what it is: a liberal hoax.

      The Conservative Party of Canada: Giving Real Canadians a Real, Honest Choice. (Or, the Conservative Party of Canada: Saying what they have to, spending what they have to, to get elected. What bravery!)

      Way to stick to your courage of conviction, Conservatives!

    • No one said that. You`re making sh!t up.

  4. Do you think before you post this stuff? The Tory attack was directed at the NDP cap and trade. The fact that most economists prefer a carbon tax to a cap and trade is another point against the NDP (and Liberal) plan – if you are going to price carbon, why do it in the least efficient manner possible?

    Mintz's twitter post did indeed get the NDP projections wrong, and that was the headline. But anybody who read further would realize WHY Mintz got it wrong. The NDP cap and trade won't do anything about consumer use of c02 emitting products. As a result it will be ineffective, and, almost certainly unable to raise the revenues the NDP has projected.

    But of course, by all means, Wherry, completely miss the substance, for the chance at some snarky exposure of hypocrisy. I think this is the essence of why everything you write is irrelevant. You would rather continue to debate a conservative straw man, than actually engage the facts. There's a fine argument for carbon taxes, and a fine one against – maybe start there next time.

    • The fact that most economists prefer a carbon tax to a cap and trade is another point against the NDP (and Liberal) plan

      And which party is promoting a solution that these economists find even more inefficient than the NDP and LPC cap and trade? The same one that fought an entire election against the most efficient solution? The same one that's already proposed their own cap and trade?

      Wherry picks and chooses too much, but come on…the hypocrisy is rampant here.

      • We all know what the Conservative plan is – do nothing. Its a continuation of the wise policy of Chretien, which was followed by the wise policy of Martin. It makes sense when you consider that Canada accounts for 2% of global emissions, is reliant on C02-heavy exports (oil, wood products, cars and airplanes), and would pay dearly if our environmental policy is not harmonized by the US. There are two internally consistent plans – do nothing, or levy a carbon tax. A cap and trade is just a less efficient version of the latter, for which there is no justification save crass politics.

        • So, you`re congratulating the Conservative Party of Canada for lying in their platform.

  5. And in the subthreads we have the smear that all leading scientists with life long carreers at reputable institutions,

    who have studies questioning or refuting AGW, have been

    "bribed by oil companies".

    True facts about Jack Layton in a known brothel: a "smear".

    Completely manufactured allegations stating innocent, reputable people are engaging in widespread criminal activity: just fine.

    The "progressive" rule book is fascinating indeed.

    • There really is only one rule book in ideological, religious, or political discussions, chet. Everyone plays from the same one.

    • Rattle those beads chet, chant those incantations, drink deeply of your blue koolaid while you build strawmen….it won't change reality one iota.

    • Yes, the progressive rule book is full of hypocrisy. Not like the Conservative rule book. The rule book that says global warming is a hoax… but we just can't say it's a hoax or we won't get elected.

      Yes, the principled right.

    • You know what I want, Chet? A leader with the courage to take money from oil companies AND to sleep with hookers. Why do the two need to be at odds with one another?

  6. China's increase in GHG emissions in 2011 will be more than Canad's total GHG production. Anyone who can't rwrap their head around this simple fact is an innumerate moron.

    • Everyone is aware of it. It's your conclusion that's wrong.

      'You go first' isn't going to solve the problem. We all have to do it.

      China not only knows that….but while we've been quibbling over nonsense….they've taken the lead in green tech.

      • They've also taken the lead in C02 emissions by a country mile. That they are the "leader" in green tech is testament to the stupidity of investing in technologies that won't pay off for a generation, as opposed to the green technology we already have: nuclear power.

        • And they, unlike us, are doing something about it. Green tech is already paying off. Biggest fortune-maker we've had in a generation. And the Chinese leaped ahead of us, because we were stupid enough to let them.

          We aren't going to nuclear power either.

        • And the rate of growth in their economy has taken the lead by several country miles.

          • That's right, and paying their employees about $1500 a year has nothing to do with it. Lol!


  7. What does that hockey stick look like today comapred to 6 years ago?

    • It looks the same today as it did back then. Totally bogus.

  8. I still amazes me how many people still beleive the AGW scare.

    Folks, climate change is over. Go home, you lost.

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